Flights to Shetland

Several flights per day to and from the major Scottish airports and regular summer flights from Bergen make Shetland an easy destination to reach by air.

Flying to Shetland...

The choice

There are two main ways of getting to Shetland, plane or ferry.

Flying is undoubtedly quick and convenient; flights mostly take between an hour and an hour and a half, whereas the overnight ferry journey takes at least 12 hours.

How the cost compares with the ferry depends on two main factors. Firstly, the price of air tickets generally rises as the date of the flight approaches. It pays to book well in advance.

Secondly, although ferry fares don’t depend on how early you book, the cost of a ferry journey is determined by the level of accommodation you choose. If you travel without any accommodation or in, say, a reclining seat, the ferry fare will always be cheaper than any air ticket. On the other hand, if you occupy a cabin and spend money on meals and drinks, that may not be the case.

Routes to Shetland

Flights to Sumburgh Airport in Shetland are operated by the long-established Scottish airline, Loganair. Their direct services to Shetland, the scheduled flight times and the maximum frequencies are as follows:

Aberdeen

1 hour

Up to 5 flights per day

Bergen

1 hour

Summer, 1 flight on Wednesdays and Saturdays

Edinburgh

1 hour 30 minutes

Up to 3 flights per day

Glasgow

1 hour 30 minutes

Up to 2 flights per day

Inverness

1 hour 45 minutes

Up to 2 flights per day; stops briefly in Orkney

Kirkwall, Orkney

40 minutes

Up to 2 flights per day

Manchester

1 hour 35 minutes

From summer 2018, 1 flight on Saturdays

Flight connections and code-sharing

You can make connections with these services from airports all over the UK and overseas. What’s more, Loganair has code-sharing agreements with British Airways and BMI Regional. These allow through booking and your luggage will be transferred between flights. Travelling on code-shared flights also has the important benefit that, should any flight be late, you’ll be re-booked on the next available connection.

The codeshare agreement with British Airways allows you to book flights to Shetland from any point in the BA worldwide network, using the BA website. For flights from places on the BMI Regional network, you can use the Loganair website,

If you’re making a connection onto a Loganair flight to Shetland, it is advisable to do so at Aberdeen if possible. That’s because, should there be any disruption to the Shetland flight, you can easily transfer to the overnight ferry. Most Shetland flights operate to schedule, but summer services are occasionally affected by fog and, in winter, gales may sometimes cause delays or cancellations.

If you’re travelling from outside the UK and are spending time in Scotland either side of your Shetland trip, the benefits of code-shared flights may be less important. In that case, it’s worth bearing in mind that Edinburgh and Glasgow have flights from many European cities, some North American airports and the Middle Eastern hubs of Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi. Aberdeen has useful connections from Scandinavia and the Netherlands, in particular. These options may also be helpful if you’d prefer to avoid the London airports.

It’s worth knowing that, on Loganair services, hold baggage and on-board refreshments are included in the ticket price. When you’re booking, the airport code for Sumburgh is LSI.

Moving to Shetland? Enjoy lower fares!

If you’re thinking about moving permanently to Shetland, the fares you see on the Loganair website would not apply, provided you’re resident in the islands and have registered with the Air Discount Scheme that’s operated by the Scottish Government. Currently, non-business travellers enjoy a 50% discount on the fare, though not on the additional taxes and charges. Those who’ve registered for the scheme book flights using a separate Loganair or British Airways website.

Getting around Shetland by air

Within Shetland, Airtask Group operates inter-island flights by arrangement with Shetland Islands Council. These serve Fair Isle, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries. Apart from a summer Saturday flight that operates to Fair Isle from Sumburgh Airport, all these services fly from Tingwall airport, six miles west of Lerwick.

Time to get booking

Since early booking offers lower fares, it’s best to put your Shetland holiday plans in place sooner rather than later. We look forward to welcoming you!

​Useful information

  • Aberdeen Airport Guide - the definitive resource to help you find everything you need when travelling to, from and around Aberdeen Airport.
  • Aberdeen Airport is run by the British Airports Authority and has a frequent bus service from the city centre bus and train stations.
  • Note: Airport security at Aberdeen is particularly strict, in part because of the North Sea oilfield traffic.
  • Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd operates Shetland's main airport at Sumburgh, 25 miles south of the county town of Lerwick.
  • The Sumburgh Airport is on the service bus route and has a taxi rank and hire car desk. Free short-term and long-term parking is available at Sumburgh.
Add to
My Shetland
collection
Back to How to get here